The Wound

Dr. Helen Roseveare recently passed away. She was an amazing woman. Years ago I did a decent bit of biographical reading on her and am right now reading the following: A WOMAN OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY: HELEN ROSEVEARE (1925-2016).

The article is prefaced with the following quote:

hr“God never uses a person greatly until He has wounded him deeply.
The privilege He offers you is greater than the price you have to pay.
The privilege is greater than the price.” —Helen Roseveare

~ I find the quote intriguing. And as I think over scripture, this seems to be true because,

(1) Jacob was given a limp.

“The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.” ~ Genesis 32:31

(2) Moses may had some kind of speech problem. When God’s call came, he said:

“Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” ~Exodus 4:10

If it was not something medical (e.g. stuttering), it at least could have came about as a result of not speaking Egyptian and Hebrew for 40 years. Read more here: Bible Contradiction? Was Moses a good speaker? Yes, some people think he was just making excuses, but I think its quite possible that he had some kind of verbal handicap. Even aging can affect ones speaking for the worse.

(3) Jeremiah was young and inexperienced. This is a kind of weakness. Perhaps within a context, a kind of a wound.

“Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.'” ~ Jeremiah 1:6

thorn-735190_960_720(4) Paul was given a thorn in the flesh.

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” ~ 2 Cor 12:7

Aside: On the flip side, we have the case of Samson who exercised raw power in brutal ways. We see how his life tragically ends.

The stories can be multiplied from Church History too. David Brainerd, William Cowper and Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers struggled with severe depression. The Christian mathematician Leonhard Euler would go blind and still do math!

~ This is not the case with everyone in the Bible nor with history, but it does happen enough that we notice. People are given a wound of some sort.

I think the Bible is all about weakness and strength. The weakness it describes is that of dependence upon God, whether that be by way of pouring out prayer, turning to His people, etc.  The strength that it describes is again really about weakness because it is a strength born of weakness. Weakness is the soil from which God’s strength arises.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Cor. 12:9-10